Saturday, February 17, 2024

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

SERVITES 

Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16

When you stand before him, have no FEAR in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.”

 

Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. 

Beauty and the Beast[1]

 

After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing, and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon to the best of her ability.

 

·         Men are awed at her loveliness.

·         Judith goes out to the enemy camp and to war.

·         She demonstrates her trust in God by walking to certain death with only her maid and her allure.

·         The guards are overcome by God’s weapon-beauty.

 

Women often desire to be beautiful but many unfortunately misunderstand that true beauty radiates from the soul. Remember that your beauty must be devoted to the service of God. Equally a man’s strength must be devoted to the service of God.

Ancient Beauty[2]

1.       The ancient women cared for their skin with oatmeal and milk, and Cleopatra was legendary for her milk baths.

2.       Honey was extremely valuable in ancient days and a symbol of divine blessing. Women applied it to their skin, along with oils, as part of their bathing ritual.

3.       Ancient women invented mineral cosmetics, and used eye shadows, face powder, blush, and lip tints.

4.       Ancient women did more than perfume themselves before a romantic evening: they perfumed their beds.

5.       Myrrh was a precious perfume oil in the ancient world renowned for its ability to soothe skin and fight wrinkles.

6.       Flax was a common food source. Researchers believe the omega-3 fatty acids in flax may help the body regulate leptin, which helps you lose weight and burn fat more efficiently.

7.       Cinnamon was used as sacred anointing oil and perfume; research tells us that consuming cinnamon plays a role in regulating blood sugar.

8.        Pistachios are rich in carotenoids, the phytonutrient that can help “block sunlight-induced inflammation of the skin, which leads to wrinkles.

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

EPISTLE. Isaias Iviii. 9-14.

THUS, saith the Lord God: If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which is good for nothing. When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday. And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail. And the places that have been desolate for ages shall be built in thee: thou shalt raise up the foundations of generation and generation: and thou shalt be called the repairer of the fences, turning the paths into rest. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy own will in My holy day, and call the Sabbath delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious, and glorify Him, while thou dost not thy own ways, and thy own will is not found, to speak a word : then shalt thou be delighted in the Lord, and I will lift thee up above the high places of the earth, and will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

GOSPEL. Mark vi. 47-56.

At that time: When it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and Jesus alone on the land. And seeing them laboring in rowing (for the wind was against them), and about the fourth watch of the night He cometh to them walking upon the sea, and He would have passed by them. But they seeing Him walking upon the sea, thought it was an apparition, and they cried out. For they all saw Him, and were troubled. And immediately He spoke with them, and said to them: Have a good heart, it is I, fear ye not. And He went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased: and they were far more astonished within themselves: for they understood not concerning the loaves; for their heart was blinded. And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Genesareth, and set to the shore. And when they were gone out of the ship, immediately they knew Him: and running through that whole country, they began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard He was. And whithersoever He entered, into towns or into villages or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch but the hem of His garment: and as many as touched Him were made whole.

Prayer.

May Thy faithful, O Lord, be confirmed by Thy gifts, that, receiving them, they may seek them, and seeking may receive them forever. Through Christ,

Doing Small Things Well[3]


First, while it is true that fasting is not the most important thing in the world, this does not make fasting irrelevant or unimportant. There are, certainly, more urgent things to abstain from than food or drink, such as maliciousness, backbiting, grumbling, etc. But a person is mistaken to conclude that he therefore does not need to fast. He should not believe that he can ignore fasting and instead abstain in more important matters. Rather, fasting and avoiding those other vices go hand in hand. Fasting must accompany efforts to abstain in greater matters. For one thing, fasting teaches a person how to abstain in the first place.

Moreover, it is presumptuous for a person to try to practice the greater virtues without first paying attention to the smaller ones. As Our Lord says, "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much"1 and so can be trusted with greater things. Therefore, if a person wants to be able to abstain in greater matters he must not neglect to abstain in smaller matters, such as through fasting.

Finally, there is a subtle form of pride present in the person who says that because something is not very important, he does not need to do it. Whoever makes such a claim implies that he does only important things. But the average person is rarely called to do very important things. Accordingly, each person is more likely to be judged on how he did the little, everyday things. Even when, rarely, a person is called to do a great work, how often does he fall short? All the more reason, then, for a person to make sure that he at least does the small things well. Furthermore, if he truly loves the Lord, he will gladly do anything—big or small—for him. So, in the end, saying that fasting is not the most important thing is not a good excuse for avoiding it.

What, then, is the reason for fasting? To answer this let us first clarify what fasting entails. It involves more than the occasional fast, such as on Good Friday. To be effective, fasting requires disciplined eating habits all the time. There are certainly days when a person should make a greater effort at abstaining from food and drink. These are what we usually consider days of fasting and they must be practiced regularly. But, still, there are never days when a person is allowed to abandon all restraint. A person must always practice some restraint over his appetites, or those periodic days of fasting are valueless. Always keeping a check on his desires, a person develops good habits, which foster constancy in his interior life. So, in addition to practicing days of fasting on a regular basis, a person should continuously restrain his desires, such as those that incline him to eat too much, to be too concerned with what he eats, or to eat too often.

We might, then speak of the discipline of fasting in order to avoid the impression that fasting is sporadic. The operative principle behind the discipline of fasting is simple: to limit yourself to only what is necessary for your physical and psychological health—no more, no less. St. Augustine puts it concisely when he teaches: "As far as your health allows, keep your bodily appetites in check by fasting and abstinence from food and drink." So, fasting is meant only to keep a person's unnecessary wants in check. A person is not— nor is he permitted—to deny himself what is necessary for his health. The discipline of fasting instead asks a person to check his desires for what is superfluous and not necessary.

Seven Founders of the Orders of Servite’s[4]

These seven men were the founders of the Servite Order, a community instituted for the special purpose of cultivating the spirit of penance and contemplating the passion of Christ and Mary's Seven Sorrows. Due to the spirit of humility cherished by the members of the Order, their accomplishments are not too widely known. But in the field of home missions’ great things are to their credit, and certainly they have benefited millions by arousing devotion to the Mother of Sorrows. The Breviary tells us that in the midst of the party strife during the thirteenth century, God called seven men from the nobility of Florence. In the year 1233 they met and prayed together most fervently. The Blessed Mother appeared to each of them individually and urged them to begin a more perfect life. Disregarding birth and wealth, in sackcloth under shabby and well-worn clothing they withdrew to a small building in the country. It was September 8, selected so that they might begin to live a more holy life on the very day when the Mother of God began to live her holy life. Soon after, when the seven were begging alms from door to door in the streets of Florence, they suddenly heard children's voices calling to them, "Servants of holy Mary." Among these children was St. Philip Benizi, then just five months old. Hereafter they were known by this name, first heard from the lips of children. In the course of time they retired into solitude on Monte Senario and gave themselves wholly to contemplation and penance. Leo XIII canonized the Holy Founders and introduced today's feast in 1888.

Today is my mother Rosella’s birthday (RIP)

Feb 17, 1927-Feb 2, 2002

Please say a Hail Mary for her soul. 

Today is also the National Congress of Mothers later known as the PTO which was established in 1897. Motherhood is tough these days don’t forget to pray for mothers of today.

 

The New Stay-at-Home Mom[5] (Does not just eat bon bons and watch “Charmed” on TV)

Forget everything you've heard about stay-at-home moms. A new generation is starting their own; businesses, blogging and working at home. These women are known as WAHM’s (Work At Home Moms) proving women can be nurturing while increasing the net income of a family while overseeing that the family comes first. Great families start with great couples; great parents which means a great family. If we want to make America great it starts here. The model for any mother is of course the original work at home mom which is Mary mother of God. Today say the Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary.

Moms: Here is an original children’s story I have written a long time ago. Enjoy 

THE TREE OF HAPPINESS 

Sir Michael was, Guardian of the Throne, to the King of Utopia, Richard. Utopia was a Kingdom like many others of that age, Most the Knights to the King had long forgot their oaths of duty and selfless service. Most of them were heavily involved in petty schemes or feuds with other Knights and spend a great deal of time and energy in self-promotion. In order to afford these pursuits of big-headedness they extracted heavy taxes from the peasants. The sons of these Knights were worse than their fathers and had much time for idle pleasures and failed to train properly as Knights of the Realm. These youth wasted much of their time in satisfying selfish pleasures, such as taking magical powders which made the takers have visions and feel a great sense of well-being. In addition, many of these Knights to be were in the habit of drinking strong drinks to excess and going about mistreating the daughters and sons of the peasants. To be continued tomorrow.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

CHAPTER ONE-YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND

Article 2 THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not swear falsely. . But I say to you, Do not swear at all.

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Individuals with Mental Illness

·         Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         "Faith cannot save without virtue"

·         Want to change? Baby steps

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[1]The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.

[2]http://www.gingergarrett.com/downloads/Top10_Ancient_Beauty_Secrets.pdf

[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=2721








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